Steve Nash Responds to 'Hoax' Published by Phoenix New Times
An odd story popped up on the website of the Phoenix New Times late Tuesday, with a headline that reads, "Setting Sun: Steve Nash's Quitting the Phoenix Suns to Enter Canadian Politics." The story is insanely long by internet standards, requiring the reader to click through five separate (and did I mention lengthy?) pages to reach its wholly unfulfilling conclusion.
It's played completely straight, with quotes in the story supposedly from people like Jerry Colangelo, Shaquille O'Neal, and even Nash himself. The only problem: the story is 100 percent false.
Call it fiction, satire, or -- my personal choice -- stupidity. But whatever it is, there's no clear indication anywhere within that the write-up is meant to be some kind of joke. It apparently was taken seriously by enough people that the Suns' PR team felt the need to issue a press release before halftime on Tuesday.
"A humorous article has been published by the Phoenix New Times joking that Steve Nash is retiring to enter Canadian politics," the statement read. "We want our fans to rest easy. THIS IS A HOAX!! Happily, Steve continues to be a member of our team."
As someone in the press room said, credit the Suns' PR staff for resisting the urge to place quotation marks around the word "humorous."
I don't know what the Phoenix New Times is, really, and I don't know what it's trying to be. My limited experience with this outlet extends no further than some hippie-looking chick who was credentialed for a few Suns games a season or two ago, and who wrote some nonsense (seriously, this time) about the NBA instituting a cap on players' tattoos.
But whatever the outlet's intentions, someone in charge really needs to take a much closer look at any content that's published on the topic of sports. Because apparently, people see this publication/web site as a legitimate news source of some kind, and take the words that appear upon it as being actual, reported journalism, when it's pretty much the exact opposite.
Nash was asked about the story and the team's release denouncing it on Tuesday, and as you might expect, he took the opportunity to make a joke about the whole thing himself.
"I just heard about it tonight during the game," Nash said. "I don't know what to say about that," he added, with a laugh.
"I mean, obviously I'll be Prime Minister one day," Nash joked. "But I wasn't going to do it until after I finished playing basketball."